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Children, risk and safety on the internetResearch and policy challenges in comparative perspective$
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Sonia Livingstone and Leslie Haddon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428837

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428837.001.0001

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date: 18 August 2017

Experimenting with the self online: a risky opportunity

Experimenting with the self online: a risky opportunity

Chapter:
(p.113) Nine Experimenting with the self online: a risky opportunity
Source:
Children, risk and safety on the internet
Author(s):

Lucyna Kirwil

Yiannis Laouris

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428837.003.0009

This chapter presents how online experimentation with the self changes with the child's age and gender and how the prevalence of pretending to be a different kind of person (online identity) and different age online than a child's real identity and age vary between European countries. It explores how children's experimentation with self-identity and age online is related to online activities and experience of online risks and harm. The findings show that experimenting with the self online is less prevalent than expected; however, it remains a risky online opportunity because it is related to undertaking risky online behaviours, encountering online risks and experiencing harm from some online risks. The chapter also reveals that experimenting with the self online, together with the child's age and sensation-seeking, are significant predictors of undertaking risky online activities by children aged 11–16.

Keywords:   Experimenting with the self online, Age differences, Gender differences, Country variations, Online risky activities, Online risks, Harm experienced online, Sensation-seeking

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